Tania Reid: Hoarding | Room by Room #11

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Tania Reid, who is the founder of For the Crowded House.

Do you have concerns about the safety of a cluttered home or want to support someone who hoards? This episode provides valuable insights and guidance on understanding hoarding behavior and offering effective support.

Meet Tania Reid

Founded by Tania Reid in 2013, For the Crowded House is often confused with a band of a similar name. While not recognized by the ARIA hall of fame, Tania wrote the book An Ordinary House in 2014, which became the world’s first children’s book in English explaining hoarding disorder. Initially focused on creating healthier and safer living conditions for individuals in crowded houses, For the Crowded House now offers secondary consultations, training, and home visits in Naarm/Melbourne to support those affected by hoarding disorder, OCD, and agoraphobia.

About the episode

In this episode, Tania shares her profound insights into the risks associated with hoarded homes, highlighting the specific dangers they pose, especially regarding fires. She draws attention to the fact that most fires occur at night, and the real threat lies in the toxic fumes emitted from burning items. In hoarded homes, the accumulation of objects increases the likelihood of releasing harmful substances when ignited. Additionally, the clutter obstructs escape routes, further worsening the danger.

Tania’s expertise shines through as she recounts her experiences working with individuals facing hoarding disorder. She narrates a poignant story about an older woman who grapples with the fear of theft, leading her to keep her security door locked at all times. However, this precautionary measure obstructs her ability to swiftly exit her home during emergencies, such as a fire. Tania’s tale sheds light on the complexities and challenges faced by those living in hoarded environments.

In conclusion

Hoarding is a mental disorder marked by a strong desire to accumulate possessions, leading to excessive clutter that disrupts living space and safety. It impacts not just the individual but also their surroundings and relationships. When assisting someone with hoarding behavior, it’s crucial to be sensitive and respectful in approaching the situation.

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